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In view of the Okinawan government’s opposition to the planned relocation of the U.S. Marine Corps Air Station from Futenma to Henoko, should the Japanese government stick to the 2006 agreement over t

32 Comments

In view of the Okinawan government’s opposition to the planned relocation of the U.S. Marine Corps Air Station from Futenma to Henoko, should the Japanese government stick to the 2006 agreement over the realignment of U.S. forces in Japan?

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The agreement was made between Tokyo and Washington. Okinawans were not consulted. The majority of Okinawans want less US military presence on their island not more. That's why they supported Onaga in the last election and why the LDP do so badly here.

Many of us here cannot see why Okinawa has to host the US military. This is a small island with a rapidly growing tourist industry. The military bases take up too much space, nearly 20% of the total land mass. US forces should be on US territory, they think. A reasonable assumption.

All the areas that have been handed back to Okinawa so far are producing many times the income they did when they were US bases. Shintoshin and Hamby Town in Chatan are notable examples. Income from those areas has risen hugely and supplied jobs for 10's of thousands of Okinawans. Any argument that the US bases provide income is 60 years out of date. The bases hold DOWN the income.

In a democracy, the people's voices are heard. Abe won't even meet with Governor Onaga.

More communication is required. And that means listening too. Unfortunately we are saddled with a PM who is incapable of listening.

-1 ( +13 / -13 )

It seems that Okinawa does need such too heavy US military bases there if they protect/defend only Japan. If the half of US military returned home, America would be able to save much taxpayers money and to use a lot of such money for Americans sake, but not for other countries.

2 ( +7 / -5 )

"The majority of Okinawans want less US military presence on their island not more."

The agreement will speed along the removal of around 9,000 marines, and their families, from the island.

"Many of us here cannot see why Okinawa has to host the US military."

Because the US owns these bases and does not want to leave for another prefecture, and if Japan demands that they be given up it will have significant repercussions on Japan's security.

Supporting Abe's security legislation drive is the best way to get the American military off the island.

-5 ( +7 / -12 )

Yeah, pull everything out of Asia, mothball base in Guam, and let Japan and ROK deal with China on their own, as they like. Ditto for Europe. Where are the Japanese, Korean, and European bases defending USA's borders?

-2 ( +6 / -7 )

Because the US owns these bases

No. Japan is shouldering the rent and letting US use the bases.

0 ( +10 / -10 )

You want to keep the base at Futenma? Sure, scrap the agreement. It's no skin off the US' nose.

-1 ( +7 / -8 )

No ALL American bases in Japan is on lease from private Japanese owners(by the way the JP government pays all the money for lease). The US military owns Zero land in Japan. Part of the marines are being moved to Guam and Australia since Chinese missiles are getting more accurate to target Okinawa making it not safe for the Americans to centralize all their assets in one location.

Basically Futenma and/or Henoko can be a large float/barge as long as they can land and maintain their helicopter(Ospreys).

-1 ( +7 / -8 )

Only thing worse than an anti-baser is a member of the CCP. I would reverse the threat posed by those two but thankfully the anti-basers can be ignored.

-2 ( +9 / -11 )

@Samuraiblue and tinawatanabe,

Part of the stipulations for the reversion of Okinawa back to Japan was that the US has a legal right to use the facilities it currently has in Okinawa. It does not require the permission of the Japanese government to operate these facilities.

As part of that treaty, the US has a legal right to its bases in Okinawa -- the government is not leasing them the land. That is why a gradual removal is the only way forward, and why Hatoyama was unable to effectively shut down Futenma back in 2010.

http://www.cfr.org/japan/okinawa-reversion-agreement-1972/p30266

7 ( +9 / -2 )

How any democracy-minded person can think this appropriation of Okinawan land over the heads of the Okinawans is in any way legitimate is beyond me; except to conclude that they are not democracy-minded at all in fact.

I don't care what documents were drawn up between the usurpers and invaders. The Okinawans are not being consulted and they are also not being treated fairly, and that much is obvious to any fool.

1 ( +8 / -7 )

Just keep everything as is - much less controversy.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

MGigante

What you you stating does not change the fact that the land the JP government is owned by Japanese private owners and JP government is paying the lease.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Before people go defending the Okinawans and dissing on the U.S. they should think about the history and remember why the U.S. base was put there in the first place. The U.S. military is in Okinawa to stay and the Japanese are just going to have to get used to it.

-4 ( +6 / -10 )

Bertie I agree with your comments. The truth is Okinawa is vital to the interests of the NWO which will be fighting two big wars, one in the Europe/Middle East region and one in Asia/Pacific region. So, 'Democracy" is of no use for the majority of Okinawans. In fact, it is a big deception created by the bankers who create opposing interests to create conflicts and wars.

-6 ( +2 / -8 )

Without the US military presence the Chinese military would be visible just off the coast from your Naha hotel.

Already the Chinese are pushing the limits to test the Japanese response. It'd only get so much worse if the US military left.

Sure, the Japanese Self Defense Force would quadruple their Okinawa presence to fill any void caused by a dwindling US one - but the SDF wouldn't be anywhere near the same deterrent as the US is now.

1 ( +9 / -8 )

The Okinawa base protest issue is a complicated one since there are many left wingers from the mainland which are not residents of Okinawa that are protesting. I also hear that in recent days some mainland Chinese and Koreans are participating at those rallies as well.

There is also the fact that a lot of foreigners are purchasing real estate in Okinawa and owners of leased land wants to sell for a profit wanting the government to return their property.

-2 ( +5 / -7 )

SamuraiBlueMAR. 30, 2015 - 01:26PM JST Part of the marines are being moved to Guam and Australia since Chinese missiles are getting more accurate to target Okinawa making it not safe for the Americans to centralize all their assets in one location.

The Chinese have been able to hit targets on Okinawa with S-S missiles for literally decades.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Having known a lot of people from Okinawa, and having heard them talk about how much closing bases hurts the local economy, and, further, knowing that the US Military pays rent for these bases, I wonder how good of an idea it is to close or remove a base considering the economic ramifications?

Further, a lot of Okinawans, from an NHK news report from a few years ago, like the opportunities for employment and the possibility of going to the USA that the bases present.

In any case, Okinawa (and Japan) needs to be careful: it may get exactly what its asking for...and when the prefecture's economy tanks, who will step in to stem the depression that will hit.........?

-2 ( +5 / -7 )

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ryukyu_independence_movement#Recent_events

The independence of Okinawa People[2]

Okinawa 2005 2006 2007

Yes 24.9% 23.9% 20.6%

No 58.7% 65.4% 64.7%

Follow resident's decision 2.8% 1.7% 0.8%

etc. 13.6% 9.1% 13.0%

2 ( +3 / -1 )

@Samuraiblue

How is that relevant? The US cannot be compelled to leave since the treaty stipulates the US has a right to these bases. I want the US military out as soon as possible, but the fact is a gradual withdrawal is the only way to go about this and the Futenma relocation is the only option (which is a sentiment mirrored by US state department).

1 ( +5 / -4 )

Henoko is similar to how hydrogen as fuel is often described: It is the base of the future, and always will be.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Laguna,

What do you mean? Henoko is going to cause Okinawa to explode? Like hydrogen?

Given the huge numbers of Okinawans against Henoko, you could be right!

-5 ( +4 / -9 )

It seems rather difficult for the 54 people who votes yes to put themselves in the shoes of the Okinawan people

1 ( +5 / -4 )

Christopher, doesn't it!

But on the other hand, the ability to put oneself in another person's shoes and see life from their point of view is not one that is given to everybody. And it becomes a totally impossible feat when all the person can see is "I'm right and you're wrong!" Okinawa has spent the last 70 years listening to Tokyo and Washington and doing what they were told.

Now it's time for Washington and Tokyo to get rid of the idea that Okinawans and their land are expendable - to be thrown away when there is a "higher" purpose.

How about if the LDP started to live up to its name? The only thing that's true about it is that it is a party. It is Liberal in the sense that Stalin was and Democratic in the sense of the People's Democratic Republic of Korea.

-3 ( +5 / -8 )

This was a hard vote for me. The feelings of the locals are important, but so is Japanese national security, the international security for the entire region, and ultimately how much the current Japanese administration is going to effect change in article nine. It would be wonderful if America could pull out the majority or even all of their forces eventually.

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

Do you want more security or less security?

The answer to this question depends on how safe you feel the neighborhood you live in is. Personally, I don't think this is a very safe neighborhood. Sure, it's OK for now, but I wouldn't let my guard down, either.

Eventually the U.S. military will leave Japan, but Japan will have to be ready to step up to the plate when that day comes. Furthermore, having the U.S. bases in Okinawa benefits Japan's national security far more than that of America's, at least in this neck of the woods.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

Yes because I need to pay taxes and pay more into my retirement pension plan and I can't do that without the job. I need to eat and feed my hungry family because these idiots are too much in the box.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

The ideal situation would be for Japan and the USA to build an island as Japan did for Kansai Airport. Get the USA military completely off Okinawa so that the government can convert it to a Las Vegas style casino paradise.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Before people go defending the Okinawans and dissing on the U.S. they should think about the history and remember why the U.S. base was put there in the first place.

So Okinawans must bear the punishment for the sins of the long dead men from Honshu, Kyushu, and Shikoku? Is this what you are saying?

Seriously, I think the people of Okinawa suffered enough during the Battle of Okinawa so as to not be liable for anymore punishment. Certainly their grandchildren should be exempt.

If we are going to punish grandchildren for the sins of their grandfathers, the bases should be moved to mainland Japan.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Because the US owns these bases and does not want to leave for another prefecture, and if Japan demands that they be given up it will have significant repercussions on Japan's security.

Please educate yourself to the facts before making comments that make you come across as ignorant.

The US Military owns zero land in Japan. It's leased. The major difference being that the base land in Okinawa, for the most part, is privately owned land, unlike mainland bases which the Japanese government owns.

Next the US Military was fine with having Futenma moved out of Okinawa as well, it's just the "other" prefectures that ideas were tossed around about, protested about having to host them, that the idea was shot down rather quickly.

The Japanese are pretty much content with having Okinawa host the bases, yet Futenma has to move, and Henoko is the best option at this point in time.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

The agreement was made between Tokyo and Washington. Okinawans were not consulted.

Okinawans vote in national elections last time I checked. You're just sour that in a representative democracy, majority rules.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

In most countries the national government decisions supercede the local government decisions.

Like the locals opposed Narita Airport but it was built anyway. The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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